Following their engagement announcement on Monday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle conducted their first joint royal engagement today in Nottingham.
Prince Harry and his actress and humanitarian fiancee, Meghan, began their day with a trip to the National Justice Museum, where they had a civic welcome to Nottingham.
This was then followed by a lengthy 30-minute walkabout amongst the crowds that had gathered.
The couple were inundated with good wishes from the crowds, and Meghan received plenty of flowers, cards and some other gifts like drawings and chocolate!
Harry and Meghan, in matching navy coats, were in the city for a number of engagements, including meeting the Terrence Higgins Trust on World AIDs Day.
Ann McGuire, who brought her nearly-three-year-old son Leo with her, said: “She grabbed my hand and said ‘I’m so glad you braved it to stand in the cold’.”
“She’s such a natural,” she added. Meghan did indeed seem comfortable with the crowds, no doubt her background as an actress has helped her train for this.
Katie Shaw, 22, said the couple were ‘very down to earth even though they’re royal.’ “It’s all about Suits. We really like Suits and she told us there are going to be two more series,” she said.
Meghan being a natural with the crowds in Nottingham pic.twitter.com/IZMlTdbHCw
— Victoria Murphy (@QueenVicMirror) December 1, 2017
One member of the crowd jokingly asked Prince Harry what it was like to be ginger and engaged to a Hollywood star. Harry said: “It’s great, isn’t it!”
The Nottingham Contemporary – an international art centre – was their next stop to celebrate World AIDs Day with the Terrence Higgins Trust; Prince Harry visited one of their pop-up HIV testing shops just last week, and is continuing his mother’s work in this area – raising awareness and helping to end stigma.
Harry and Meghan learnt more about the work being done with young people in the area, and visited a variety of stalls at the centre, which work to encourage people to get tested.
Dominic Edwards, from the Terrence Higgins Trust, told the BBC the charity was “thrilled” the couple had chosen to visit Nottingham, and said: “I think it really underlines his great support for HIV as a cause.”
It was then on to Nottingham Academy for the engaged couple, where Full Effect mentors have been working with primary school children to help them transition to secondary school, and also work as positive role models to assist them through hard times.
Full Effect is part of the Royal Foundation, which Meghan will become part of after her wedding; the project is helping to tackle the problem of youth violence and gang culture in Nottingham, by working in particularly deprived areas.
Full Effect currently provides a programme of diversionary activities out of school hours, including sports and creative workshops, currently serving 150 children, and targeted work for children at risk outside and in school hours, such as lunchtime nurture sessions.
Youngsters performed a ‘Hip Hopera’, which detailed the story of a young couple keeping their relationship secret…!